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Jon's New Zealand Spotting Thread. Much anticipated* update

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We're having a run of antipodean chod at the moment - this can only be good.

Am I right in thinking that, unless it was local manufacture, most of this HB's body shell - pressed by Holden in Australia, nailed together in Ellesmere Port, then shipped back Dare Nunder - would have been around the world once already even before it hit the roads of NZ?


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20 hours ago, Rab said:

Citroen in 2011

Vanguard in 2011



Nice one Rab, welcome back! We really must meet up one day!


20 hours ago, chaseracer said:

We're having a run of antipodean chod at the moment - this can only be good.

Am I right in thinking that, unless it was local manufacture, most of this HB's body shell - pressed by Holden in Australia, nailed together in Ellesmere Port, then shipped back Dare Nunder - would have been around the world once already even before it hit the roads of NZ?


According to Wikipedia, it seems so! That sounds like a ripe juicy bit of car trivia that could be used in the proposed Sniffpetrol car factiods book.



15 hours ago, barrett said:

*Waits eagerly for another 75 days*

Not even 75 hours. I'm practically giving these images away! 


12 hours ago, Spottedlaurel said:

Yay! Great to see more of your photos from this marvellous place.

Well, hold on to your hat again, there's more. I'll start off with some more Japanese cars, mostly as that was the order in which I took the photos:




If you don't mind, I'd like to be mildly self-congratulatory for getting some nice light in here amongst the subjects. Dat sun is really nice. Sorry, I literally thought that last bit up as I wrote it.



Good bit of corrosion here. I think that's the closest I got to taking a photo of the FD in the background, so soak it up whilst you can.



Here's a favourite spot for many, I presume. I will admit that this is a rather unusual scenario to be in in the second decade of the 21st century (remember this is from 2 years ago, before you whip out max pedantry).



I do wonder how long many of these lumps have sat here festering. This is next to a Sierra wagon, so possibly not as long as you'd think. But then, is that a cross-ply shodding that base level rim?



Some Cortina snippets, representing all barring the Mk5, if I'm not mistaken. Ladies, for hot scintillating chat, call 0898 50 50 JON.



Seems that was all the photos of Fords I took that day, so let's have their bitter rivals. Yeah! These old cars are better than those old cars! Yeah!



Actual metaphor for the future of GM Australia. I am pleased to say that still, there isn't a Commodore sitting here that's as early as mine! Although that does mean that I can't plunder it for VB specific parts, too. 



What is point semi-2 storey bus, with a turret from a school corridor?



More Japanese goodness. Top striping on background fun van and number plate of foreground Celica tells me it's an early Japanese import (they began '86/'87 and this was registered in March '89) and was de-registered in 2000. That number again: 0898 50 50 JON.



Seth-spec Herald. Ha ha! He likes lowered cars.



Actually, it's a Vitesse. And also, it looks very much sunnier, all of a sudden. But cor blimey, look at all those 2000/2500s!



And they're all MkIIs! This can only mean that this is where the much-reduced stash of MkII Triumph 2000/2500s ended up, which was local to me for years. I have an early shot somewhere of around 20 of them piled in front of the guy's house but now there's only a couple remaning.



Ah, that's a better light for seeing things in. Now, if this is where the local MkII 2000/2500 hoard ended up, they undertook an epic journey of around 3 hours on the back of a truck to get here, so mega kudos for Horopito Motors, if that were the case!



Here's a defient FWD-er to show those old duffers above how things are done. These turn into beds, don't you know. Also, how depressing is it to see all that modern dross infiltrating? Ugh.



Yeah, I know; today's modern is tomorrow's old and all that but thankfully, they still seem to be picking gems up like this XE Falcon ute, as I'm sure the stuff in this bit just gets parked up in chronological collecting order. I was drawn to this but perhaps it's the light metallic blue colour, as I seem to be subconsciously drawn to that shade, if 3 of my current snotters are anything to go by.



Here's an irksome looking Bedford CF being matched in dimensions by a very ordinary-sized 10-15 year old MPV thing. 



Actually, that doesn't look very accurate from this angle. Soz! I like the back bumper add-ons though, looks like they'd take some mega road abuse or possibly be a handy step.



Here's a very scenic HQ Holden, which defo wasn't here last time I visited. So where has it been in the meantime?!



Rather like it's BT brethren the HA Viva van, these don't seem to have been common street fodder in NZ, especially this late, I'd imagine. Other than yellow BT ones, whenever I think of Spacevans, I remember that one that featured in the Max Headroom film.



Last one for tonight - a classic @Spottedlaurel  finisher, to bookend this report and finish as we began; crusty interesting old Japanese stuff.

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18 hours ago, Spottedlaurel said:

Marvellous! I don't know where I'd start looking if I went there.

I'm not sure how many times I've been now but I seem to have got the journey round into a fine art: for starters, peruse all the old car bits in the 2 storey building, making sure to access all the bits being linked by loose planks of woods and those in pure darkness, too.

Next, out in to the yard via the working garage bit, where there's usually something uninteresting being attended to on a ramp. This leads to the most organised 'old' bit, where cars are parked in an orderly manner, 4 or 5 deep. Being so accessible, some go and others take their place, unlike the next bit - the old yard.

Be sure to look where you're going here, ensuring that the bonnets and old roofs that form parts of the footpath aren't too rotten or slippy. After delving deep and exploring all the out buildings, leave via the way you came in and go to the next yard - the 'modern' section.

Try to walk past the interesting 70's and 80's tin (well, you may as well take some of it in), heading to the overflow field of new additions, which is largely dross; this needs to be dispatched forthwith but let's treat it as a palate cleanser. Then back into the 70's & 80's bit and bosh, job done. Allow 2-3 hours, or more if you think it may be a once-only trip.  Bring puzzles/tablets/balls of wool/shiny things of distraction for womenfolk, as they tend mostly not to care a jot.


Anyway, let's get cracking!



Now, I do like Holden HQ-HZ utes but I think that an XA/XB/XC Falcon pips them purely due to the pillarless doors. I've yet to own a car with pillaress doors yet, although there's choice aplenty over here, since Subarus are so popular.



I'm not sure if I've seen this brill 132 before, as I'm sure that there's more than 1! It appears to have been selectively picked of all the good/useful bits, barring that most excellent front wheel. Bonus jaunty door handle action.



Here's another white Japanese import Celica and also another Chevette - or might I say, a Chevanne! Yes, this is what an NZ market Chevanne looked like - I think they also came with rear seats as standard, too.



Pretty sure this is all seen before stuff on this thread (well, how else do you think I fill 16 pages?) but it's interesting to see how things change over time, either through people buying parts or just erosion.



Minus the bonnet, this Subaru is doing a good imitation of a the similar era Corolla and the Aussie market Morris Marina, which had a very Japanese-esque grille. Gripping stuff!



I'm still mystified as to why a Landcrab and Maxi have been designated as the tyre dump area. Or even where all these tyres have come from for that matter, since the cars that enter the yard are left as is. I'll get @Datsuncog on the job forthwith, as we could do with another compelling cold case!



Here's 2 bona fide recognised, officially sanctioned 'trendy' old cars just sitting there, rather than being messed about with by Kiwis with penchants for sick tattoos and facial hair grooming products. It's cray cray, I tell you!



I'd HEDGE my bets that's not a standard engine!! Let's CF you twig that excellent pun. 



Here's the marvellously giffer-bodged Maestro van, still the only one of its type I know of over here, despite the Montego being modestly successful. And it also seems that there's a second last-gen Spacevan too. On reflection, that modernised front end of the Spacevan had no right to look as cohesive as it does. 



Sad one, this; I remember it for sale on Trademe in the south island about a year prior, fully roadworthy, if a little salty in price. Now look at the poor little bugger.



Appears to have suffered a front end punt, taking out a couple of lights and bending the wing. I know AXs are largely made of knock-off gold leaf but that looks like something even I could get back on the road.



This one might prove a bit more tricky. Looks like a nice strong bonnet latch defeated a few attempts at getting to the engine, here!



Just checked the plate and this came off the road in 1996! Love the scaff bar tow bar.



Random Zephyr seems not welcome amongst the other British Fords of higher scene value. Note the the hardtop Nissan/Datsun in the background (sorry, inexcusably no other photo), plus also scruffy van camera right, which I can't identify. 


Capella  EUROPE in foreground, makes for an interesting scrap yard dichotomy, don't you think?



Not sure why I've two shots so similar, but I'll be buggered if I'm not putting them both up, now I've uploaded them. Although now's a good time to say that I don't really rate the design of any generation Simca Aronde as that cohesive, or interesting. Cheery door card, though.



Hey look, it's another well travelled Vauxhall Viva! And what looks like an early CX, next to it. But then it look slike it has a pillarless window... Why didn't I take a photo of that?



Nice general view here and an accurate chronological portrayal of the point that Japanese cars replaced British cars in popularity. Deep.



Back to my description earlier of the Jon-approved navigation method of Horopito, I now demonstrate another ritual - taking one last photo of the old Fords from the other side of the fence as I leave, even though I've already looked at them. Weirdo.



This is where larger new arrivals often get dropped off and again - where the bloody hell has this come from?! I'd love to take a look at the interior decor - those front curtains offer so much promise of the horrors within. Carjam doesn't even recognise the plate, so this has been in long term solitary



Likewise, look at the two and eight of this! Again, very dead plate but I am surprised that the crop spraying bit wasn't salvaged all those years ago.


Anyway, that's the end of my 2018 tour of Horopito. I've not been back since and frankly, I'm a little apprehensive to do so, as I feel like they may have done further clearing up and possible further promotion of their sterile 'museum' bit. That said, @dollywobbler visited more recently and made a walk-round video, so perhaps all's not lost quite yet.


In all seriousness though, if you harbour any desire whatsoever to visit this place one day, then do so as soon as possible, before it's all gone.

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Just wandering round Autoshite and dreaming of Nissan Maximas, unable to sleep even at 1:30am and Jon comes up with that lot !  Made me wake up properly again.

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Nice one Rab! Thought I hadn't seen that 145 before but it seems that they randomly move some cars about the place from time to time, for reasons unknown.  Again, looks untouched for a good while.


21 hours ago, STUNO said:

Just wandering round Autoshite and dreaming of Nissan Maximas, unable to sleep even at 1:30am and Jon comes up with that lot !  Made me wake up properly again.

Well, you had come along for that visit, so I suppose it's nice to reminisce 2 years later. Meanwhile, the other Autoshiter present, hairnet, has likely been to 17 other countries in the interim.



Anyway, all this lockdown shiz is letting me get on with much needed jobs on the 'to do' list and spending too much time updating an old car photo thread for the benefit of 4 men I've never met is still pipping my accounts and GST returns in importance. In fairness though, I have pretty much finished painting the outside of my house, so I guess I can reward myself with this venture.



We're at the Coromandel now (although I may not need to spell that out), some time in 2018, whilst taking my then newly acquired Cavalier SRi out for a weekend away, as a sort of apology to Mrs_Jon, after she found out I'd bought another car! I'd managed to snaffle it away at a mate's house for about a month, until the insurance e-mail confirmation came through to her e-mail and I somehow couldn't convince her that we already owned a 1983 Vauxhall. Anyway, seeing a commercial stablemate (which I think may have still been made for the British Army when my Cav was new?) was a nice little coincidence.



Here's a nice photo I managed to get of the Cav from that weekend, basking at a spot nearby. Actually, I should really update my fleet thread some time soon - that should put off my taxes for a bit longer...



Jeepers, we're pretty Vauxhall heavy, so far! I went to drop off some lighting gear one day at work and this was sitting in the workshop.



Amazeballs iPhone 4 cam action here. The owner of this was an old fella (no, honestly!!) who lived outside of Auckland but would travel up in this or other old cars he owned and do a few days shuftying round the workshop, tidying the place up and repairing the odd lamp, etc. Got him away from the missus for a few days and kept him kicking about, so fair play to him!



Nice to see a colour matched interior (I bet Chris Bangle had a pic of this hanging up on his 'mood wall' when penning the Fiat Coupe) and also the crocheted parcel shelf protector and prerequisite binnacle flannel. I wish someone had made one for my Cavalier, as the dash is mega cracked.



A change of scenery now and here's a pleasantly standard guage 80's 911 in tasteful gold (though I could happily dismiss the rag top and picnic bench out back) and an annoyingly well presented 205 GTI. Ours looks mega horrendous these days and I had considered changing the gunmetal grey colour when it one day gets resprayed but I don't think silver would be a candidate - all modernz are silver and Mrs_Jon's Clio 172 is silver, too. I like the light metallic blue they came in but that would make for 4 light metallic blue cars on the drive, which is a bit silly. So I suppose it'll stay grey, then. First World Problems, eh?!



Ooh, check out this mega mustardo Mini, in bonus Aussie Door Handles guise, too! Note also the exposed door hinges and quarterlights, for maximum bonza effect. 



Shwang shwang, mutha flippers. Please note that with common decency in mind, I've taken a photo at the optimum shit modern rimz obfuscation angle. 



Welcome to spottedlaurelland, home of solid old J-tin. And to the left is New Zealand's 1980's answer to a home built sports car, called a HERON. Great name, lads.



And there's more Japanese stuff but just look at how shockingly original that 2 door Mk1 Escort is! Low digit number plate, vinyl roof, tow bar, heated rear screen element, great colour, dog dish trims and aluminium spat mud flaps seal the deal, though that 1980's aerial and high level brake light are a smidge unusual. But still, look at it!!




Weren't these TVR Tuscans all built for a one make race series and couldn't be road registered? Seems that doesn't matter in NZ, or can be worked around. Never noticed before how much the centre part is unmistakably an old TVR - that front and rear treatment was really effective in modernising the base unit. And actually, I bet these looked pretty amazing back in 1989.



But anyway, where are we? A car show? Nah, that was just the 'interesting cars' car park; we're at the 2019 Leadfoot festival - a hillclimb hosted by ex-Mazda rally driver and Pikes Peak winner, Rod Millen, which takes place on his driveway!



It is a rather nice driveway though, as you can see. Plus, spectators can get quite close to the action, as you can also see. Good job there's top grade TÜV approved safety bales to keep everyone protected.



I hate the phrase 'eclectic' (especially when someone's mentioning their taste in music -ugh!) but it is a good descriptor for the line-up of stuff being raced up the hill. This is a replica McLaren, which I'd previously seen at Hampton Downs a few years back. 



There's a smattering of drift cars that go about the place skidding and slipping and sliding around. Can't say I was a mega fan before I'd seen these lot but I'll admit that they are an entertaining live act. Just leave off all the poor old Volve 340s and Ford Sierras, eh lads?



This thing is based on a 1912(?) La France fire engine, apparently. For something that's been more recently built, it certainly looks the part and apparently doesn't get trailered about the place, either.



Mandatory Mazda content, which is fair enough I suppose when the host has history with them and they also seem to be one of the more major supporters. Being the naturally boring man I am, I'd like to know what the story is behind the front number plate, which looks fire damaged to me.



Oh look, another Vauxhall! Actually, this one was powered by a Lexus V8 but is still on the system as a 1256! That'll explain the too-big minilites, I suppose. 



Now, I think these ultra luxury MPVs that seem to be mandatory to release these days are just the absolute pits but in fairness, it seems that the Bentley one can shift - this is not at all far from the start line, which you can see behind it.



But all that heft gives the suspension a good old workout when it lands! 



I've had this thing portrayed on this spotting thread before, parked up at a car show but I thought it interesting that it is indeed as much trousers as it is mouth. I mean, it's ugly as sin but with a modified V8 of some sorts and RWD, it's credibly fast.


Anyway, stay tuned for more of this lark some time again soon!

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OK, I've got my taxes in order, so here's more old cars that aren't shite.


Naturally, a hillclimb event that celebrates road-based racing cars attracts RWD Escorts. Loads of 'em!



There was a blurry one.



A copycat one.



And an Aussie one (they're always so subtle).



Much better! 



Even better!



I reckon this might represent sporty MkI Escort nirvana. And not an oversized minilite in sight! It's also an ex-UK racer, brought over to race in NZ in late 1969.



This is a very neat MkII and I reckon it's my favourite of all the Escorts. The old fellas running the PA mentioned this being recognised by many in the know to be the most original works Escort rally car in existence but it's nice not to see it being driven like a Pebble Beach contender because of this. Regardless, it does look great and it's clearly still being enjoyed.



Of course, there were other Fords and this XE Falcon looked excellent, even if it was a replica. Nice touch that the widened wheels share the patterned centre with factory Falcons. Actually, I'm sure I've read an article about the guy building this and that the wheels were the most difficult parts to source, IIRC.



A bit more drifting but this time there's a Mustang mixing it with the Japanese cars.



Here's some locally built car, based on a modified Model A Ford chassis! Made in 1959, I know little about the history of these types of things but I do appreciate a good shape and colour combo when I see one. Great wheels, too.



There were also plenty of Mazdas there too, as per their sponsoring of the event. Not sure if this was a genuine Bathurst car or another homage but either way, it's fair bonza! Correction: it's a replica.




This one is the real deal, apparently - an ex-Japanese touring car, which performed well in its day. The wording on the door beneath the BOMEX decal reads:






This is more like it! Immaculate 323 rally cars bring all the girls to the yard. Built by Rod Millen's workshop in the US, apparently.




I was going joke that this is a funny looking thing, though I checked the plate, which reveals to my luddite self that it's a 1919 Lancia Kappa; so major kudos for running a 100 year old car up a hill.



I'll freely admit that this is not an interesting car to be showing on this forum but I included it purely because I liked the paint job. More of this type of thing with moderns, please.



Now, the reason that many of my photos look a bit samey and are all taken from similar spots is that I had volunteered to be part of the fire rescue crew that weekend, which saw me getting free board, food and entry to Leadfoot. As a result, I couldn't really leave my spot, to go and explore other places to watch and take photos. Anyway, here's Mad Mike flinging a mazda truck in the air, whilst a sturdy rope forces the hordes back.



And here's a photo of what happened once he landed. Safety bales to the rescue! I mulled over to assist shortly afterwards, once I'd bagged my photo. Safety third!



I'll end tonight with one last replica, this time a DTM car Nice effort though! 


Hope no-one minds the mostly high-end subjects. I'm working through my backlog chronologically and guarantee that normal service will resume down the line.  

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On 4/18/2020 at 1:48 PM, Jon said:


Here's a nice photo I managed to get of the Cav from that weekend, basking at a spot nearby. Actually, I should really update my fleet thread some time soon - that should put off my taxes for a bit longer...

This is all the proof I need that I'm living in the wrong part of the world. A fleet update would be very welcome!

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On 4/26/2020 at 12:33 PM, Carlo_Raffo_TDS said:

This was spotted in my lockdown excercise walk yesterday. I`ve never seen one before out in the wild, looked in great shape.

vw citi.png

Welcome! A Citi Golf in NZ is a fine spot to make and I've seen a couple myself, so resident South Africans must like to bring a little bit of home along with them when they move here. That background has a sort of Auckland vibe, I'm guessing.


Now arguably, this post has hit 'peak Autoshite' with that quoted photo above already as sadly I've only got some boring old competition cars to document this time: but gosh darn it, I've bared witness to some stuff which I enjoyed and I've gone to the trouble of uploading photos and thought about dribbling on about them, so I may as well bosh them up for all and sundry to ambivalently scroll past. Hold onto your hats!



Here's a Corolla replica  Japanese touring cart of some sort which an enthusiastic young chap had built. Sadly, it didn't perform that well but top marks for trying! It did look as it had been very carefully recreated, judging by the paint job and decals which look period correct.



This is an established racer from the olden days but I'm not sure quite how olden those days were. I'd guess 1970's at the purple colour but I'm thinking earlier, for obvious reasons. This car actually features on the early pages of this spotting thread (if the photobucket links still exist), when I saw it racing in the south island in 2014.  So I suppose you could call it quite.... POPULAR!!!!!!



Hopefully there's no need to apologise for a second image of this Escort. I think the slightly smaller size of NZ plates accentuate the stark tidiness of the rear ends of RWD Escorts.



It was getting towards the end of the two day meet and slower cars were getting eliminated, so things started getting a little jumpy. Imagine the effect without all that downforce*.



This Pontiac Firebird was as loud as it was rapid, in a wayward manner. 



Thankfully, the driver was great at keeping it on the track and setting good times, so I got to see and hear it ripping up the hill several times. Great stuff.



Even Hillman Hunters were getting air!



I'll admit that much of the styling favours robustness over good looks but it was V8 powered and seemed to do well. Is the formerly "lightbulbfun of his day" single marque enthusiast @PaykanHunter still lurking about the place? If so, shout out and I really hope I get to see your documentary some day!



By and large, 911s don't really do it for me, although I quite like the narrow 70's/80's ones with narrow bodies and no rear spoilers. Seeing and hearing this being fanged about the place with gay abandon was indeed a top notch experience, so now this is my favourite 911 and quite possibly, my favourite car of the weekend. What's happening to me?!



To redress the balance somewhat, it appears that this is a rather mundane '77 911 made to go faster and not a 911 RS, as the plate says. Prior to this, it had the plate A911S and prior to that, a nice simple black plate, JP911. But it's a '77 car and JP would've been issued early 1980 by my reckoning, so I wonder what the original plate was? Anyway, I'm basically reiterating my displeasure at modern white plates that aren't accurate, whilst also sounding much like lightbulbfun in the process. If you're reading Dez, I do jest, as it's great that someone so young is passionate about something niche from another era.



To redress the audible tuts, this thing absolutely flew, made the top 3 fastest and also reminded me of a rallycross car, with its covered headlamps. 



I think that's just about 3 wheels off the ground. Claim to fame: I've been to the AJ's Emporium, which sponsors the OSR of this. Verdict: A good shop which is quite literally, an emporium.



Here's the owner of the track beating the above car in his Pikes Peak Celica* which he raced to victory. But that day, someone else drove faster.



Alister McRea! A lovely shot here, with the bonus edition of a man awkwardly bending down bang centre of frame.



This was his final, winning climb of the day, making it to the top in a smidgen under 48 seconds. Since it's a 1.6 km track and I'm an utter wizz at in-head decimal to mineral translations, I make that an average speed of 75mph! I'm a sucker for a turbo flat 4 Subaru rally car with a McRae behind the wheel, as avidly following the Rothmans Legacys and State Express 555 Imprezas on the telly in the 90's and nabbing as much memorabilia from the Subaru stands at the motor show each year was about the closest I have ever come to supporting a team in any form of sports. So it's nice that I was able to see a McRae driving live, on the other side of the world. 



Final AS green tick approved spot of the day was this tasty Datsun wagon. I like the scribed lines round the wheel arches and that quite extreme kink in the rear door window line. Both are endearing in this sense but such fripperies irritate me greatly in modern car design, which goes to show that I'm needlessly dissenting of new cars, even though they are all crap.



Not sure what's going on with the rear lights in the tailgate, though. The blanking off makes it look like a pared down Japanese van spec model, or maybe that's just how they were. Any Datsun enthusiasts who actually read my tripe care to add their ideas?


Anyway, I'm going to leave one last morsel of things to come, to prove that I've not gone all highbrow and only cover racing events now.


I also went abroad on me 'ols. Tune in next time to find out the mystery* location.


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The Datsun estate looks great! Blanking panels in the tailgate do look weird, we got them the same as that here but it looks like elsewhe they had them functional:


Earlier 230 model had a neat arrangement:


Later 260C gained a pointless extra bit on the outside:


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24 minutes ago, Spottedlaurel said:

The Datsun estate looks great! Blanking panels in the tailgate do look weird, we got them the same as that here but it looks like elsewhe they had them functional:


Earlier 230 model had a neat arrangement:


Later 260C gained a pointless extra bit on the outside:


I’ve also wondered why many Cedric estates had those blanking panels & tiny rear lights.

Maybe they only fitted larger lights when local rules required them & otherwise saved some money using the smaller clusters.

Were those extra bits used for reverse lights in some specs?  Maybe where rear fog lights were required & used the cut outs in the bumper.

Ps: I think that in some countries might require the rear lights to be fitted only a part of the main body & not the tailgate.

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16 hours ago, Spottedlaurel said:

The Datsun estate looks great! Blanking panels in the tailgate do look weird, we got them the same as that here but it looks like elsewhere they had them functional.

Wow, those wagon rear light setups are a bizarre mixture of brilliant (complete sets) and knuckle-bitingly aggravating (dummy fill in bits). Those rectangular lamps on the earlier 230 are lovely but those small blanked off nubs on the later 260 would cause me maximum irritation. They even surpass those false tail lamp fill-ins on the rear pillars of later Daihatsu Fourtracks. Aaargh!

16 hours ago, hairnet said:

meet me at the cafe across from the sheep building beginning of november :D

Here's hoping you can make the journey! I've just consulted a psychic with regards to chances of Commodore completion. Verdict: Nah.

50 minutes ago, Essex V6 said:

Jon - hope you don't mind me doing a bit of fly tipping on here from time to time.

Yeah, why not. Others slip in a few spots NZ here and there, so fill yer boots. Or make your own thread! Actually, I welcome the addition of comments here to break it up a little, so carry on.


Righto. Knife edge question of yesterday - where am I?


Any other clues?



Of course! I'm in Las Vegas! The epicentre of French registered elderly commercial vehicle spottings. Bonus spot above, which features an Americanised version of the FTR bus, used in my old home town of York between 2006 and 2012 (they weren't very good). Small World, eh?!



And here's the hotel of the car park I spotted the Citroen in. If memory serves, I believe it was called Circus Circus. They should think about promoting it a bit better. Funnily enough, just days later, it was spotted again by a bona fide blogger, in exactly the same spot:



Anyway, we enjoyed our couple of nights in Vegas, gadding about the place on foot and drinking on the streets at night whilst we looked at all the fancy lights. That amount of time in Vegas was enough, as Mrs_Jon and I favour scenery over tack. But I'd probably go back again, some time.



The following day, we'd made it up to Zion National Park (via a visit to the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead), where I spotted this funny bus thing. We'd seemingly hatched a plan that morning to visit a load of national parks, after buying a parks pass. The background to this trip is that Mrs_Jon was forced to take some leave at work, booked 2 weeks off the week before, then tasked me to find somewhere to go. On my one day off work that week (working away from home, natch), I booked flights to LA and a full size hire car with unlimited miles on the Thursday and we flew out on the Saturday. Last Minute Unplanned Road Trip! 

Wasn't 2019 great, eh....?



Here's a couple of pics from Zion. I'm going to add an element of a travelogue here, mostly because it seems that I unwittingly deleted pretty much ALL of the photos I took from my last US road trip and pretty much the only ones I have left are the ones I uploaded. Which are mostly shitty old cars....



Treemendous. Branching out with a pun there, unless you hadn't twigged.



Nice Dodge on the road out, back to our affordably priced Motel for the night.



Next day, we're at North Rim, Utah - or the northern side of the Grand Canyon, which isn't half as busy as the southern end we'd visited last time. Ignore all that though - here's a clunky old thing spotted at North Rim car park, that probably isn't all that old and is called a WORKHORSE. Bit blurry, soz, but here's the original pic I took:



Shot literally from the hip; I think the only way to legitimately photograph service vehicles at world class beauty spots is covertly.



Here's a photo of some rocks in a big hole.



Nice bit of scenery here on the way to our not-so-cheap motel room that night. Chose a place with a fully equipped kitchen, so we could cook some of our own food and try and avoid eating out too much; I could count the numbers of times we were served vegetables at restaurants and diners on our month long trip last time, on the fingers of one of Postman Pat's hands. 



Went for a dusky wander round Lake Powell that night, where the use of Polaris and John Deere buggies to get people about the place was being complemented by Japanese Import Kei class trucks!



Thing is, these are now cult vehicles in the US and a lot of people are becoming converted to them, especially the 4x4 versions. I remember seeing a few others knocking about various states last time but by and large, most states don't allow them to be registered as road vehicles, even if they're over 25 years old.



Seemingly, there's plenty of these knocking about Japan with micro kilometres on them, so presumably they're fair value compared to the side by side buggies sold new.


Next time - Unfinished Business!


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Strange buses in Las Vegas,,,,,,,,,,  STUNO was sitting in LV airport waiting for  the usual, round the corner came , an Optare Solo. We had trouble with those overheating in NZ and that is nowhere as hot as LV in summer.  Come to think of it, we have two Optare Versas here on our fleet, both out , one very rusty and tother has had its fuel tank try to fall out as very rusty . Sitting together in the yard waiting for the tow truck,

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On 5/25/2020 at 10:33 PM, TooManyPeopleMovers said:

Spotted when I was in Christchurch a week before the lockdown: It looked in very nice condition.


That's not the first time that Escort's featured on these pages!



Looks like it's had one or two adornments since I snapped it back in 2014.

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18 minutes ago, Jon said:

That's not the first time that Escort's featured on these pages!



Looks like it's had one or two adornments since I snapped it back in 2014.

I agree, it's like one car is a workhorse and the other a show pony. Not a bad contrast! I see your photo is also in Christchurch by the looks of things...

If I were a betting man, I would say it's even parked on the same street, High Street, across the road from where I snapped - in the back ground of your photo is the Leighs Construction Building on the corner of Lichfield and High Streets. (I only take sure bets..)

See this: The angle is a little wrong, but you can just see the "point" of the glass box that is the Leighs Building, in my Google Maps screenshot.


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